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How Does My Cat Fall Asleep So Fast? 3 Main Reasons

Genevieve Dugal

By Genevieve Dugal

Cat sleeping on the arms of a woman

If you have a cat, you might be deeply jealous of your fur baby being able to fall so quickly into Morpheus’s arms. Indeed, your feline friend doesn’t have to deal with the endless loop of thoughts that seem to pop into your brain the moment that you lay your head on your pillow. But what else contributes to your cat’s superpower of falling asleep so quickly? Let us look at the most common reasons given by feline experts. There might be a trick or two that could help you also fall asleep faster!

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The 3 Reasons That Cats Fall Asleep So Fast

Cats are true nap masters, and it seems that they can get their beauty sleep whenever they want. Here are a few reasons that cats can fall asleep so quickly.

1. Effective Sleep Cycles

Like humans, cats go through different stages of sleep. They experience both non-rapid eye movement sleep and rapid eye movement sleep. Cats also have a polyphasic sleep pattern1, meaning they sleep several times throughout the day rather than for a single long period like humans do. Therefore, cats can snooze an average of 79 out of every 104 minutes. Also, since cats are crepuscular animals (being most active at dawn and dusk), they can take multiple naps throughout the day and quickly get the rest that they need.


3. Supreme Relaxation Techniques

Cats seem to be experts at relaxing their bodies and minds. For example, purring seems to have a calming effect on their bodies, enabling them to fall asleep easily. They also have an instinct for finding comfortable places to rest. So, as soon as they feel safe in their surroundings, falling asleep is a snap.


3. High Sleep Needs

Cats need a great deal of sleep, usually between 12 and 16 hours a day. This enables them to rest from their “exhausting” day of play and be ready for their next round of adventure and endless exploration.

Cat sleeping with a person
Image By: Alexis Muñoz, Pixabay

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Do All Cats Need 16 Hours of Sleep a Day?

Not necessarily. Several factors influence the number of hours that a cat needs to be fresh and alert:

  • Health: Certain conditions are responsible for sleep disorders in cats. For example, stress and anxiety may lead to poor quality sleep. Also, cats may sleep less if they have hyperthyroidism and more if they have diabetes or kidney disease.
  • Lifestyle: An indoor cat sleeps more soundly than a stray cat, which must ensure their safety and remain vigilant at all times.
  • Age: Kittens and older cats tend to sleep longer, almost 20 hours a day.
  • Temperature: In cold and rainy weather, cats tend to take more naps and stay warm and sheltered.

When to Be Concerned About Your Cat’s Sleep

It’s time to consult your veterinarian if you notice any changes in your cat’s sleeping habits, such as excessive sleeping, insomnia, or an increase in nocturnal vocalizations. Other signs, such as loss of appetite, lethargy, or behavioral changes, may also indicate that something is wrong.

The veterinary team should be able to determine if your cat has an underlying health condition and recommend the appropriate treatment.

Nebelung cat affectionate cuddle sleeping happy
Image Credit: Henk Vrieselaar, Shutterstock

Tips to Help Your Cat Sleep

The following tips should help soothe and relax your feline companion so they can get the best restful sleep. Feel free to apply them to your bedtime routine if you need to!

  • Create a cozy sleeping area for your cat. It can be as simple as a fluffy cat bed or a soft blanket in a quiet, warm spot in the house. Then, put on soft music, and spray the room with a soothing cat-safe pheromone scent. Your cat will purr with happiness!
  • Establish a bedtime routine. Don’t minimize the power of a good bedtime routine for your favorite feline! Consider including extra attention, playtime, and a grooming session before bed.
  • Give your cat a reason to go to bed. Make sure your cat has access to toys and games that provide mental stimulation during the day. This will tire them out and make them more likely to sleep at night.
  • Spend quality time with your feline companion throughout the day. This should help reduce their anxiety and stress so they can doze off at night without a problem.

Don’t force your cat to go to sleep if they don’t feel like it yet. Each cat has their own sleeping needs and habits. There’s no point in trying to get your cat to sleep next to you if all they want to do is play in their cat tree until the wee hours of the morning. Cats are individuals, and what works for one cat may not work for another.

However, be sure to monitor your pet’s sleep patterns so you can spot any significant changes, and seek advice from your veterinarian if you have any concerns.

cute sleeping white himalayan cat in hepper nest bed
Image Credit: Hepper

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Final Thoughts

Cats typically fall asleep quickly for survival reasons: They alternate between different stages of sleep throughout the day, so they can recharge their energy and be ready for their next adventure—like chasing small rodents in the backyard!

But if you want to fall asleep to the sound of your kitty’s soothing purr, know that with patience and luck, many cats can adapt to their owner’s sleeping habits. Your cat’s comforting presence may even enable you to fall asleep as quickly as they do!


Featured Image Credit: Aga Maszota, Pixabay

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